LWV MILWAUKEE COUNTY members and community volunteers took to the street on March 24 to connect with students and supportive citizens engaged in the March for our Lives event. Wearing identifiable yellow hats, they distributed 1,100 My Vote cards, 200 Mi Voto cards, 401 Pledge to Vote cards, and 961 “Register and vote like your life depended on it” buttons! Each item handed out came with a conversation about voting.
That was one day’s amazing outreach by 55 volunteers but behind the scenes, the Milwaukee League has been tirelessly working to make voter registration for 18-year olds a rite of passage in Milwaukee Public Schools. Beginning in 2013, in collaboration with MPS and the Milwaukee City Election Commission, they launched the High School Voter Education and Registration Project (HSVERP) that began with the creation of a Toolkit for school staff (currently under revision as an electronic Toolkit) and has grown into a diverse program that includes: an interactive classroom presentation on voting rights history and the importance of voting at all levels annually; training of Student Voter Registration Advocates who promote voter registration and assist their peers in the use of MyVote.wi.gov; collaboration with student organizations/coaches/parent coordinators/other staff and school organizations to plan and implement voter registration programs and events; establishment of Voter Registration Corners in College and Career Centers; and creation of motivational materials (flyers, brochures, and buttons). The League’s publicly acclaimed civic work with high school voter education is available for all Leagues to model.